Tuesday 10 December 2019

Barrier put across river to trap foam after fish kill

Brian Byrne

A barrier has been placed across a river in an attempt to prevent a suspected contaminant from killing fish further downstream.

An investigation is under way to determine what may have caused the "frothy substance" and the deaths of hundreds of fish in the River Tolka, which flows from Co Meath to Fingal.

One local Patricia Nevin said she had been out walking in Griffith Park between Drumcondra and Glasnevin yesterday morning when she noticed "the river was just full of foam".

She told the Irish Independent: "It was all white, all the way downstream. And as I was looking at it I realised lots of the fish were dead."

Ms Nevin claimed "some of the fish were jumping out of the water and trying to escape it, but in the end became exhausted and just turned over and died".

She said she had never seen anything like it before, and that children and dogs often played in the water during the summer months.

It's understood the number of fish that are dead will reach several hundred and that they were mainly brown trout.

A spokesperson from the Environmental Protection Agency said last night that none of its licensed industrial facilities and landfills on the river had claimed responsibility for any contamination.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and Dublin City Council confirmed that they had launched an investigation into the fish kills and that this will continue today.

An IFI spokesperson said water samples had been taken to determine whether the water had been contaminated, and that they would be surveying the area to determine how widespread it might be and how many fish died.

Dublin City Council have also placed a boom wall barrier across the river at Griffith Park to prevent the foam spreading downstream.

The IFI spokesperson added: "The latest indications are that the fish kill extends from an area in the vicinity of Finglas Road Bridge for a considerable distance downstream." They said the extent of the kill has yet to be quantified and that the IFI and Dublin City Council were continuing their emergency response and investigations.

Irish Independent

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